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Old 07-12-2007, 03:32 AM
 
1 posts, read 8,664 times
Reputation: 10
Default Any ethnically-diverse walkable Westchester towns with short commute to NYC

We are considering a move from Paris, France, to Westchester (or maybe Queens). The husband's job will be in Stamford, Conn., whereas I will have to commute to NYC.

Could people here recommend towns that meet the following criteria:

- short (30-35 minutes) train commute to NYC

- walkable community, with a mix of urban feel, public transport and yet some green space. I'd like to bike or walk to the train station and the main street.

- some ethnic diversity and cosmopolitan feel

- relatively good elementary school (don't worry too much about this one, we can do our own research once we know which towns meet the above criteria!)

THANKS a million!

Last edited by nadira; 07-12-2007 at 03:33 AM.. Reason: mistake
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:39 AM
 
100 posts, read 460,613 times
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To be honest with you the first stop, Harlem 125th street is already ten minutes out from Grand Central. To get to the Westchester border is already 20 minutes.

I guess if you are willing to live in a city, then White Plains is really a good option. It is a really nice, small, urban city, with plenty of amenities. It even has a good school district. It is at the most 20 minutes from Stamford, and a 35 minute train commute.
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:40 AM
 
100 posts, read 460,613 times
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otherwise look at Rye, Larchmont, Bronxville. If you want to extend your commute, the village of Pleasantville is really nice, and really walkable.

Public transport in westchester is generally horrible, unless you are commuting into NYC.
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Old 07-12-2007, 08:22 AM
 
Location: amsterdam ny
155 posts, read 551,266 times
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What $ range are you talking about? Although prices might not be much of a shock coming from Paris, there are wild price swings between neighboring towns in Westchester.

If money is no object, I'd say Brahmos is right on:Rye (good split between Stamford, NYC), Bronxville (Easy commute to NYC), Larchmont. White Plains is good, but is a still a bit rough around the edges and urban compared to the much more cosmopolitan areas previously mentioned. Plan to start at $750,000 on up for a house in any of these 3 towns.
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Old 07-12-2007, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Where my bills arrive
3,461 posts, read 3,532,363 times
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Try Portchester it a nice older town, diverse, with a train station downtown that would be bikeable to depending where you settle in.
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Old 07-12-2007, 09:52 AM
 
Location: amsterdam ny
155 posts, read 551,266 times
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Port Chester is Rye's poorer, hispanic stepsister. I like Port Chester a lot, but it is decidedly not considered cosmopolitan and not in the same league with tonier Westchester towns. If million $ towns are out of your league, and ethnic diversity is a high priority, I think Port Chester is worth a look. Hey, it borders Greenwich, CT- how bad could it be?
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Old 07-12-2007, 10:03 AM
 
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Hastings is a wonderful place! Cute town right on the Hudson, and a quick walk to the train station. Plus the schools are blue ribbon schools. Good luck!
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Old 10-11-2007, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Upstate NY
29 posts, read 110,251 times
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Suppose you work in White Plains, can you live in Portchester or these other towns and drive to WP and find parking?
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Old 10-11-2007, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
2,806 posts, read 11,715,061 times
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Yeah definitely you can find parking, but you'll pay for it. There are parking meters all over the place and a bunch of municipal garages (I think they are charging $.75 per hour now). All the free spots within half a mile of the business areas only allow you to park for an hour or two and the meter maids are out in full force writing tickets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaymcl View Post
Suppose you work in White Plains, can you live in Portchester or these other towns and drive to WP and find parking?
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Old 10-12-2007, 06:55 AM
 
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I currently live in Larchmont, having lived here for 2+ years now. It has many things you are looking for, though there are some caveats:

- short (30-35 minutes) train commute to NYC
>> It's a manageable 35-40 min commute to Grand Central Station in the city via Metro North (see mta.info | Metro-North Railroad for train schedule times). Re: commute to Stamford, I used to work there, and it was only a 20-25 minute drive without traffic, though that can stretch to 45 minutes with rush hour traffic.

- walkable community, with a mix of urban feel, public transport and yet some green space. I'd like to bike or walk to the train station and the main street.
>> Very green town with lots of trees, very walkable, with a small retail area with some shops + restaurants. If by "green" you're talking about lawn space, though, property is very expensive here. Expect to spend > $1M to get a decent-sized lawn. Town is small enough (only 1 mi square, I think?) that you can pretty much bike to the train station from anywhere in town.

- some ethnic diversity and cosmopolitan feel
>> Ethnic diversity is where Larchmont falls down. I'm one of the few Asian people in town and am extremely aware of the lack of diversity here. In my son's kindergarten class of ~15 kids, he is one of only two non-Caucasian kids. Though, I will say that, anecdotally, I have noted a non-insignificant number of people speaking French in town, which leads me to believe that there may be a fair French expat contingent in Larchmont. Being from Paris, you may (or may not) find this appealing.

- relatively good elementary school (don't worry too much about this one, we can do our own research once we know which towns meet the above criteria!)
>> Larchmont has great elementary schools that rank well, though not at the very top in the county. My son is currently in Murray Ave, and his kindergarten teacher is fantastic.

Other quick impressions of surrounding areas:
- Port Chester: Vast majority of resident are Hispanic and/or immigrants, as reflected in the great restaurants throughout the town. I think the Hispanic population at the elementary school was around 75% when I last looked. It's one of the less economically wealthy towns in the county.
- White Plains: Much bigger, and more metropolitan than surrounding towns. Commute to the city is between 35-55 mins, depending on which train you catch. Has an airport nearby (Westchester County Airport, airport code HPN). With larger population comes more diversity, though I don't know the percentages.

If you find a city in Westchester that meets all your criteria, please post it here along with what you've found. I'd be curious to hear about it...
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